Venice Film Festival Competition Jury Announced

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ROME – The Venice Film Festival on Friday announced members of its main competition jury, choosing an eclectic group of industry figures with deep Venice roots to work under previously announced jury head Darren Aronofsky.

The jury will include Todd Haynes, whose latest film to screen on the Venice Lido, I’m Not There took home the jury prize in 2007; French auteur Andre Techine, whose 1969 classic Pauline is Leaving premiered at the fest in 1969; and director Mario Martone and actress Alba Rohrwacher – both Italians – who appeared in Venice as recently as last year’s festival, with We Believed and The Solitude of Prime Numbers, respectively.

Other jury members include musician David Byrne and Finish visual artist Ejia-Liisa Ahtila. Byrne, the former frontman of the 1980s alternative music band Talking Heads, has worked on soundtracks for numerous films, including Bernardo Bertolucci’s nine-time Oscar winner The Last Emperor, while Ahtila has been a regular at the Venice visual arts Biennale, appearing most recently in 2005.

It was already announced that the jury will be headed by Aronofsky, whose last three films all premiered in competition on the Venice Lido, with The Wrestler taking home the festival’s top prize in 2008 and Black Swan given the honor of being the festival’s opening film a year ago before going on to earn five Oscar nominations.

The jury will vote on the festival’s main prizes a year after the previous jury, headed by U.S. director Quentin Tarantino, sparked widespread protests in Italy based on charges that it handed out many of the main prizes to directors with close personal ties to Tarantino. Then-Italian Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi said at the time the Italian government should have a voice in selecting the festival’s jury, but the idea never gained traction and this year’s jury – like those from previous editions – was chosen entirely by the festival.

This year’s edition of the Venice festival, the 68th, will take place Aug. 31-Sept. 10.

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